Coed Relays


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Coed Relays

Postby guru » Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:00 am

FINA to test the waters(PI) at an upcoming World Cup meet, with an eye towards future championship-level meets.

http://olympictalk.nbcsports.com/2012/1 ... 2/related/


A terrific idea that the stodgy IAAF would be well-advised to follow.
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby toyracer » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:50 am

"The teams will be made up of two men and two women, and, for sake of strategy and a bit of fun, the teams are allowed to put together their legs of the race however they see fit, meaning they can pit men against women depending on what advantage the group is attempting to gain."

That's exactly the format I'd like to see for a Track mixed 4x100m and/or mixed 4x400m. Watching the race play out like an accordion would be a lot of fun.
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby lonewolf » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:55 am

Sounds like an interesting event..one difference being, in swimming, it is a medley event of different swimming styles whereas runners all pretty much run the same..
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby iain » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:16 am

I would love to see a mixed 4x400m. A 4x100m would be less good IMO as it would be difficult to see the differences between runners, and baton dropping (I would think) will become more prevalent.
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby jazzcyclist » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:16 am

toyracer wrote:That's exactly the format I'd like to see for a Track mixed 4x100m and/or mixed 4x400m. Watching the race play out like an accordion would be a lot of fun.

I would be against a 4x100 because of the predictably large amount of SNAFU's that would occur. If nations are already finding it difficult to get enough practice time with their single-sex relay teams, does anyone think they would set aside more time to practice coed teams? The shortest distance I would recommend is the 4x200 and I would also be against any sort of medley because then you would essentially be predetermining the order.
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby gh » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:16 am

we had a long thread on this last month

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=48093

I'd like to see it everywhere but the 4x1. As noted in the other thread, national teams are having a hard enough tme getting the stick around when they're all the "same" speed; creating a man-woman or woman-man pass, to my way of thinking, would only compound the problems.
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby guru » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:27 am

oops, sorry about that gh. I searched "coed", should have thought of trying "mixed"
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby Pego » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:12 am

I don't see where 4X100 should necessarily create a passing problem if the team is M-M-W-W. There would only be 1 M-W exchange and the "faster" man should have no problem catching up with the "slower" woman.
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby jazzcyclist » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:39 am

Pego wrote:I don't see where 4X100 should necessarily create a passing problem if the team is M-M-W-W. There would only be 1 M-W exchange and the "faster" man should have no problem catching up with the "slower" woman.

Or running past the "slower" woman if she doesn't get out well, which is often the case with teams that don't practice a lot. Considering the fact that Shelly-Ann Fraser had to really slam on the brakes in order to make the pass to Sherone Simpson in the London Olympic final, can you imagine what Usain Bolt would have had to do if he was running place Fraser's place?
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby j-a-m » Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:13 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:I would be against a 4x100 because of the predictably large amount of SNAFU's that would occur. If nations are already finding it difficult to get enough practice time with their single-sex relay teams, does anyone think they would set aside more time to practice coed teams? The shortest distance I would recommend is the 4x200 and I would also be against any sort of medley because then you would essentially be predetermining the order.

Yeah, 4x400 is probably a good idea, 4x100 not so much.
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby Pego » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:04 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:
Pego wrote:I don't see where 4X100 should necessarily create a passing problem if the team is M-M-W-W. There would only be 1 M-W exchange and the "faster" man should have no problem catching up with the "slower" woman.

Or running past the "slower" woman if she doesn't get out well, which is often the case with teams that don't practice a lot. Considering the fact that Shelly-Ann Fraser had to really slam on the brakes in order to make the pass to Sherone Simpson in the London Olympic final, can you imagine what Usain Bolt would have had to do if he was running place Fraser's place?


Let me remain a devil's advocate for a moment, just for the debate sake. Would it not be more a matter of timing than explosiveness of the receiving athlete? After all, women are only 10% slower that becomes rather short distance in an allowable exchange zone.
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby j-a-m » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:13 pm

Pego wrote:Let me remain a devil's advocate for a moment, just for the debate sake. Would it not be more a matter of timing than explosiveness of the receiving athlete? After all, women are only 10% slower that becomes rather short distance in an allowable exchange zone.

And that timing would be off, because athletes would be used to an incoming runner that's either significantly faster or significantly slower. Adjusting the timing takes practice; practice is not gonna happen for a rarely contested event; which leads to an increased number of bad exchanges, likely turning this into more of a sideshow than a high-quality event.
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby guru » Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:10 pm

lonewolf wrote:Sounds like an interesting event..one difference being, in swimming, it is a medley event of different swimming styles whereas runners all pretty much run the same..



There's a 4x50 free relay tomorrow. Medley was today, won by Germany.

http://www.kentucky.com/2012/10/02/2357 ... ender.html


Predictably, the US didnt have a team in today's medley, and wont in tomorrow's free. smh
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby 26mi235 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:08 pm

gh wrote:we had a long thread on this last month

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=48093

I'd like to see it everywhere but the 4x1. As noted in the other thread, national teams are having a hard enough tme getting the stick around when they're all the "same" speed; creating a man-woman or woman-man pass, to my way of thinking, would only compound the problems.


I think that the notion of it being much harder for the 4 x 100 is much overdone. There is a:

Start
First handoff (F to F)
Second handoff (F to M)
Third handoff (M to M).

All but the second handoff are identical. So, we all know that the incoming runner is fast than the outgoing runner. Having the slightly slower woman handing to a man should improve that dynamic and result in a better transition, not a worse one.
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby tandfman » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:48 am

It might be interesting (and fun to watch) if each team could choose which legs they put the two men and the two women on.
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby guru » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:59 am

tandfman wrote:It might be interesting (and fun to watch) if each team could choose which legs they put the two men and the two women on.



That's how swimming does it and I agree it should be a component of the race.

Hopefully, someone from the IAAF reads this board, and discusses the idea with his counterparts. The IAAF World Relays would be a fantastic venue to debut the race.
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby jazzcyclist » Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:32 am

26mi235 wrote:All but the second handoff are identical. So, we all know that the incoming runner is fast than the outgoing runner. Having the slightly slower woman handing to a man should improve that dynamic and result in a better transition, not a worse one.

One of three exchanges (33%) would be different than anything they've ever done before. Changing 33% of a race that the U.S. already screws up routinely is significant in my opinion. I predict the the female to male exchange would routinely be the exchnage that teams would struggle with the most, the male would always be afraid of running away from the female, and so they would never take off with confidence.
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby 26mi235 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:40 pm

One of the perennial problems is the mismatch between the incoming speed and the departing speed -- diminishing that differential won't help at all? And, remember, this is someone like VCB or AF or Jeter coming in, not some journey(wo)man. I do think it would be a problem to do M/F/M/F, although running women on the curves might be a slight advantage because the 10% slower speed makes it a tad bit easier to run the curve.
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby gh » Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:47 pm

guru wrote:
tandfman wrote:It might be interesting (and fun to watch) if each team could choose which legs they put the two men and the two women on.



That's how swimming does it and I agree it should be a component of the race.

Hopefully, someone from the IAAF reads this board, and discusses the idea with his counterparts. The IAAF World Relays would be a fantastic venue to debut the race.


Swimming doesn't have any "exchange" components. The next person in the order doesn't have to change learned behavior before setting out. This (in something like a 4x1) reinvents the whole event for us.
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby jazzcyclist » Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:48 pm

gh wrote:
guru wrote:Swimming doesn't have any "exchange" components. The next person in the order doesn't have to change learned behavior before setting out. This (in something like a 4x1) reinvents the whole event for us.

Good point! The best analogy to coed swimming relays in track and field would be a coed shuttle huddles relay.
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby Speedster » Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:35 am

No harm could be done that giving it a go at a relays only event or at a Diamond League event or two to see how it pans out. If it doesn't work, then at least its been tried and tested.

The potential media coverage would be worth it enough in my view, particulary if teams were allowed to choose which leg to run which gender rather than specifying. Can you imagine Ryan Bailey trying to run down VCB?
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby decafan » Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:39 am

Why in the world would we want to run mixed relays? Forget the logistics of the exchanges, your big problem will be overcoming the natural tendencies of the viewer to feel negativity toward the slower legs (women). One unintended consequence will be the highlighting of just how much faster men are than women. The casual fan will never keep proper perspective. "We were fine until the chick got the stick. Ugh..." Once the novelty wears off, there is nothing much gained, and quite a bit lost. Women lose big on this idea.
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby jazzcyclist » Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:59 am

Speedster wrote:No harm could be done that giving it a go at a relays only event or at a Diamond League event or two to see how it pans out. If it doesn't work, then at least its been tried and tested.

The potential media coverage would be worth it enough in my view, particulary if teams were allowed to choose which leg to run which gender rather than specifying. Can you imagine Ryan Bailey trying to run down VCB?

Why would a 4x100 coed relay be any more interesting to the media than a 4x400 relay?
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby jazzcyclist » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:00 am

decafan wrote:Why in the world would we want to run mixed relays? Forget the logistics of the exchanges, your big problem will be overcoming the natural tendencies of the viewer to feel negativity toward the slower legs (women). One unintended consequence will be the highlighting of just how much faster men are than women. The casual fan will never keep proper perspective. "We were fine until the chick got the stick. Ugh..." Once the novelty wears off, there is nothing much gained, and quite a bit lost. Women lose big on this idea.

I don't ever recall a female tennis player getting slammed for being the weak link on mixed doubles teams. Are female swimmers getting slammed for being the weak links on coed swimming relay teams? If not, how can you be so certain that this would happen in track?
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby decafan » Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:29 am

jazzcyclist wrote:
decafan wrote:Why in the world would we want to run mixed relays? Forget the logistics of the exchanges, your big problem will be overcoming the natural tendencies of the viewer to feel negativity toward the slower legs (women). One unintended consequence will be the highlighting of just how much faster men are than women. The casual fan will never keep proper perspective. "We were fine until the chick got the stick. Ugh..." Once the novelty wears off, there is nothing much gained, and quite a bit lost. Women lose big on this idea.

I don't ever recall a female tennis player getting slammed for being the weak link on mixed doubles teams. Are female swimmers getting slammed for being the weak links on coed swimming relay teams? If not, how can you be so certain that this would happen in track?


Geez, I hadn't thought of it that way. Swimming and tennis are exactly the same as sprinting. Putting a 9.8 second sprinter against a 10.9 second sprinter wouldn't at all be shocking to view.
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby jazzcyclist » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:33 am

decafan wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:I don't ever recall a female tennis player getting slammed for being the weak link on mixed doubles teams. Are female swimmers getting slammed for being the weak links on coed swimming relay teams? If not, how can you be so certain that this would happen in track?


Geez, I hadn't thought of it that way. Swimming and tennis are exactly the same as sprinting. Putting a 9.8 second sprinter against a 10.9 second sprinter wouldn't at all be shocking to view.

No more shocking than putting a 21.3s swimmer against a 24.4s swimmer.
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby guru » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:39 am

jazzcyclist wrote:
decafan wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:I don't ever recall a female tennis player getting slammed for being the weak link on mixed doubles teams. Are female swimmers getting slammed for being the weak links on coed swimming relay teams? If not, how can you be so certain that this would happen in track?


Geez, I hadn't thought of it that way. Swimming and tennis are exactly the same as sprinting. Putting a 9.8 second sprinter against a 10.9 second sprinter wouldn't at all be shocking to view.

No more shocking than putting a 21.3s swimmer against a 24.4s swimmer.



Or having Victoria Azarenka return Andy Murray's serve
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby guru » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:45 am

And now Lindsey Vonn wants in on the action

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/08/sport ... d=fb-share
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby Speedster » Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:36 am

jazzcyclist wrote:
Speedster wrote:No harm could be done that giving it a go at a relays only event or at a Diamond League event or two to see how it pans out. If it doesn't work, then at least its been tried and tested.

The potential media coverage would be worth it enough in my view, particulary if teams were allowed to choose which leg to run which gender rather than specifying. Can you imagine Ryan Bailey trying to run down VCB?

Why would a 4x100 coed relay be any more interesting to the media than a 4x400 relay?


Never said it did? Just thought of two possible anchor legs. 4x4 has a lot of rough and tumble at the exchange, might be an issue.
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby 26mi235 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:06 pm

decafan wrote:Why in the world would we want to run mixed relays? Forget the logistics of the exchanges, your big problem will be overcoming the natural tendencies of the viewer to feel negativity toward the slower legs (women). One unintended consequence will be the highlighting of just how much faster men are than women. The casual fan will never keep proper perspective. "We were fine until the chick got the stick. Ugh..." Once the novelty wears off, there is nothing much gained, and quite a bit lost. Women lose big on this idea.


Why do women lose big? Because the incoming runner is faster, putting in an order that has a man handing to a woman is a poor strategy. I think it will almost always be WWMM given the choice. Then, the women are not running against the man and the differential in speed is not so large that they look like they are on different planets.
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby decafan » Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:57 pm

26mi235 wrote:
decafan wrote:Why in the world would we want to run mixed relays? Forget the logistics of the exchanges, your big problem will be overcoming the natural tendencies of the viewer to feel negativity toward the slower legs (women). One unintended consequence will be the highlighting of just how much faster men are than women. The casual fan will never keep proper perspective. "We were fine until the chick got the stick. Ugh..." Once the novelty wears off, there is nothing much gained, and quite a bit lost. Women lose big on this idea.


Why do women lose big? Because the incoming runner is faster, putting in an order that has a man handing to a woman is a poor strategy. I think it will almost always be WWMM given the choice. Then, the women are not running against the man and the differential in speed is not so large that they look like they are on different planets.


Women don't lose big in your scenario. I was responding to the idea put forth early in this thread that you could place people in whatever order you want, guaranteeing male vs female match-ups. WWMM races don't excite me much either, but at least you don't set our best female athletes up for terrible failure against our best men.
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby 26mi235 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:49 pm

Who would run someting other than WWMM even if it is not required. MWMW or WMWM maximizes the differentials in speed. WMMW or MWWM is better than always switching, but I think that it is simplest to run WWMM and would be surprised if we saw something different in a 'serious' competition (i.e., one where they really cared if they won).
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby jazzcyclist » Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:40 am

26mi235 wrote:Who would run someting other than WWMM even if it is not required. MWMW or WMWM maximizes the differentials in speed. WMMW or MWWM is better than always switching, but I think that it is simplest to run WWMM and would be surprised if we saw something different in a 'serious' competition (i.e., one where they really cared if they won).

I agree that WWMM would be the preferred order for the 4x100, but I think MMWW would probably be the prefered order for the 4x400, because coaches would want to make sure that their team is in the mix and not playing catch-up the whole race. However it would make for a lot of drama if one team chose to anchor with a woman (eg. Sanya Richards) while another team anchored with a man (eg. Usain Bolt), with the woman getting the baton with a 40-45 meter lead. Could you imagine the deafening roar of the crowd at the Penn Relays as Bolt inched closer to Richards on the backstretch but Richards still hmaintaining a 10-11 meter lead as she hit the homestretch? :shock: That's if Bolt ran smartly and didn't try and make up the whole deficit too quickly. If Bolt were to foolishly pull even with Richards at the 200-meter mark, the spectacle on the homestretch would be embarassing for him and a lot of folks would be yelling USA! USA! USA! 8-)
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Re: Coed Relays

Postby tandfman » Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:57 am

You're right, jazzcyclist. That could be incredibly exciting.
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